But enough about my internal dilemmas. Let's talk about bathing suits because I've been thinking about them for quite some time now. You see, Ben and I just booked a trip to Mexico for our ten year anniversary and that got me thinking about how my newest bathing suit is actually older than my marriage. And with that I figured that it was about time for a new swimsuit. I ended up taking advantage of an on-line sale and ordered about 10 suits to try on at home and I had settled on keeping one when I came across this post, resulting in me becoming slightly obsessed with the idea of sewing my own swimsuit (something that I said that I would never do). The next day I packed up all 10 swimsuits that I had ordered and sent them back to the store. And a week later I bought the Soma Swimsuit Pattern by Papercut Patterns. I decided to make version 1.0 (a wearable muslin) with leftover swimsuit fabric from the girls' bathing suits and I was on my way. I hope to eventually make both versions of the two piece bathing suits because I think that they're both incredibly cute, but I started with version one because it seemed simpler and luckily it ended up being pretty straightforward. And that's the thing about swimsuits - they're actually much easier to sew that you would think. But in case you're looking for any tips for sewing your own swimsuit (do it!), here's what I learned along the way.
1) Cut your lining ever so slightly smaller than your outer fabric. I didn't and I ended up with some bunching on the outer fabric on both the tops and the bottom of the bathing suit (although it's much more noticeable on the tops). Not attractive.
2) The pattern calls for bra strapping but you'll be fine if you can't get your hands on some. I ended up contacting Papercut Patterns for alternative suggestions to bra strapping but I never heard back from them so instead I relied on my experience from sewing the girls' bathing suits and I just sandwiched 1/4 elastic between fold over elastic and it seemed to work great. Definitely more time intensive than just cutting bra strapping but sometimes you just have to use what's on hand. On a side note, I did eventually end up ordering bra strapping and a couple other bathing suit making supplies from Sew Sassy and I was incredibly happy with their service.
3) Speaking of bra strapping and bra rings I don't think the pattern notes what size to buy. I bought 3/8" bra strapping and 1/2" bra rings and I'm happy with both sizes.
4) I ended up sewing cups into this version because Lord knows that I can use all the help I can get in the chest department. I literally just sewed them onto the lining. Not sure if that's technically how you're supposed to do it but it seems to have worked. Unfortunately, you can ever-so-slightly see the cups through bits of the white fabric. Better that you can see the cups than something else I suppose.
Oh, and in case you're wondering, the fabric and lining are both originally from Girl Charlee and I sewed 95% of the suit on my regular sewing machine. I just used my serger to sew the outer and lining fabric together but you could definitely do that on your regular machine if needed. Also, I ended up sewing a size XXS for the top and XS for the bottom. I was in between sizes on the bottoms but closer to the XS size so I ended up going with that. Not sure if that was the right decision or not, but it seems to have worked out okay.
All in all, I think that my swimsuit obsession will continue. Prepare to see lots of picture of me in my
PS - Taking pictures of yourself in a bathing suit kind of sucks. Also, having to take pictures of your wife in a bathing suit also sucks. At some point Ben yelled "I kind of want to fire myself!" Sorry, Ben. I promise to be nicer next time.
PPS - I'd like to thank iPhoto for fixing my pasty white skin - otherwise known as my "Pacific Northwest Tan"